Drive-by Parades Hit the Spot!

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Photo by Kristen Hamilton

Gianna and Nolan Hamilton hold big signs during a 7th birthday parade on Marbern Drive for their friend Rhys Cunniff.

While adults in our community have alternated recently between worry over the health of our loved ones and ourselves, our job security, homeschooling our children, the food security of our friends and neighbors, and the need to support our local businesses, we’ve also understandably grieved some of the things we planned and looked forward to prior to a pandemic: vacations, holidays, weddings, milestones for our high school seniors, such as a definite graduation celebration. 

So, it comes as no surprise, that our young children are also experiencing some worry and sadness over their own losses, what they’re missing. Wanting to brighten the day of children looking forward to their birthday and disappointed over the cancellations of celebrations, many Suffield friends have taken the celebration on the road in the form of drive-by Birthday Parades. We’re talking horns, cheering, birthday wishes, homemade signs, popping out of the sun roof, safely riding in the truck bed – seeing our friends for the first time in weeks from afar.

Maybe you’ve seen or heard us driving down your street. I dare say we bring cheer to the whole neighborhood and not just the birthday child. We’ve visited Rhys on Marbern, Gavin on Branch, Nicholas on Redstone, Walker on Limric, Michael on Thrall, Braeden on Hale. From what I’ve seen on Facebook, there have been plenty more of this type of celebration, not just for our children, but our parents, grandparents, and friends. It’s been good for our children to feel there is still something they can do to make sure a friend feels special, and that their birthday wasn’t forgotten in the midst of this really trying time. Maybe Birthday Parades are something that will outlast this pandemic, taking a little bit of time and energy to brighten the days of our neighbors when we can. If you know someone who needs a parade of their own and aren’t sure who can help out, contact the author of this piece who just happens to have a whole caravan of Suffield friends who are ready to share the love. I can be reached by email, by phone (860)305-2045, or at 40 Stratton Farms Rd.

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